A soaring Latinx line-up hits the heights in ‘Jaime Lozano’s Songs by an Immigrant’ at the Kaplan Penthouse in NYC’s Lincoln Center- DC METRO THEATRE ARTS
For his headliner debut at the legendary Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the tremendously talented, always effervescent, Mexican-born musical multi-hyphenate Jaime Lozano brought his signature humor and heart, along with members of his all-Latinx all-star “Familia” of artists, to the lofty Kaplan Penthouse for a sensational evening of his original Songs by an Immigrant. The sold-out one-night-only concert, presented as part of Lincoln Center’s American Songbook: A World of Voices series, featured a set list of thirteen numbers from his popular eponymous album and new works performed publicly for the very first time, all of which hit the heights and filled the room with a spirit of joy, compassion, and camaraderie.
The focus of the lyrics, some in English and some in Spanish, some written by Lozano and some by his collaborators (Noemi de la Puente, Marina Pires, Georgie Castilla, Neena Beber, Mark-Eugene Garcia, Nancy Cheser, and Tommy Newman), was on the immigrant experience, a theme that holds personal significance for him and his company. Each song delivered an individual stand-alone mini-narrative of the struggles and pain, happiness and accomplishments of the “Dreamers” who left their homelands for the opportunity of a new life in the US, as they face the common challenges of language and acceptance, missing loved ones and questioning their identity, and finding a supportive new family in the close-knit expatriate community – and, we hope, beyond. Lozano’s sincere, momentous, heartfelt songs and outstanding show should help with that.
.Accompanied by six stellar Latino musicians – Agustín Uriburu on guitar and cello, Raúl Agraz on trumpet, Ruben Rodriguez on bass, Alberto Toro on sax and flute, Joel Mateo on drums, and Jonathan Gómez on percussion – the irresistibly open, funny, and gracious Lozano, who masterfully switched from piano to guitar to bajo quinto (which, till then, he had never played before an audience), laughed and joked (a lot, as ever!), introduced the singers, set up the contexts of the songs, recited verses for everyone to sing along, and never failed to express his profound gratitude to his colleagues for sharing the stage with him, to Lincoln Center for having him, and to the crowd for being there. It was our pleasure, and a delight to see him relishing the evening as much as his enthusiastic audience was (an audience that included Lin-Manuel Miranda).
Lozano’s music encompassed a range of genres and styles with a Latin beat, from jazz-infused salsa and mariachi to ballads and even segments of rap, all delivered to perfection by the band and the roster of top-notch singers: Javier Ignacio on “Hold Tight” and “The Generic Immigrant Welcome Song” (with Lozano); Marina Pires on “Getting Up Is Easier” and “Mountain in The Sky” (for both of which she wrote the lyrics); Mauricio Martínez on “Dreamer” and “DJ Can You Hear?” (a duet with Pires); Florencia Cuenca on “Far from Home,” “No Podemos Regresar” and “Wings” (for which she stepped in brilliantly at the last minute for a scheduled singer who couldn’t make it); Shereen Pimentel on “Te Soñé;” Andréa Burns on “And the Years Go By;” and Nicholas Edwards on “My Father’s Name.” Each and every performance was spot on in its vocal prowess and compelling in its expressive mood, be it sardonic, upbeat, romantic, disheartened, or reflective, and the group finale on “Familia” (sung by Lozano, Martínez, Cuenca, Ignacio, and Pimentel) brought it all home and made everyone there feel a part of it.
For the “Dreamer” Lozano, as well as for his appreciative audience, this soaring concert at Lincoln Center was a dream come true.
Running Time: One hour and 45 minutes, without intermission.
Jaime Lozano’s Songs by an Immigrant played on Friday, April 15, 2022, at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, Samuel B. and David Rose Building, Lincoln Center, 165 West 65th Street, 10th floor, NYC. For upcoming shows in the American Songbook: A World of Voices series, go online; tickets are pay-what-you-can.
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Writer/Actor/Storyteller. Theatre Maker. Husband. Bad Hombre. Cat Taunter.